art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir #15, Special Issue on Iran
Winter 2022
Holy Soil



“Their only crime...”

Holy Soil

Holy Soil: The Endurance of the Bahá’ís of Iran by Ighan
Hadigheh: A Bahá’í House of Worship in Tehran by Saba
The Blue Prayer Book by Hannan Hashemi
In Front of the School by Nava
The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Tanin Azadi
The Castle at Maku by Nogol Sadri

The Scent of Roses

The Scent of Roses by Nooshin Mavaddati
A Great Green Enignma by Mehrsa Mastoori
My Tiny Fruit Garden by Foad Bahrami
My Blessed Spot by Hannan Hashemi
Spring in My Grandmother’s Yard by Morvarid Ighani
The Garden of Memories by Sama Khalili

Candles in the Darkness

The Candle in My Family by Alhan
A Shower of Bullets by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
From Thief to Benefactor by Foad Bahrami
The Green Handprint by Nava
The Kolahduz of Barfurush by Sama Khalili
An Immortal Man by Taranom
The Whisper by Andisheh Taslimi


From A Tale of Love by Mahvash Sabet
translated by Shahin Mowzoon and adapted by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

Personal Reflections on Bahá’í Texts

Calamity: The Path to Eternity by Hannan Hashemi
The Way Home by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
The Light in the Darkness by Sama Khalili
From Your Inmost Being by Taraneh


A Small Light in a Dark Room by Andisheh Taslimi
Hope for the Future of Iran by Mehrsa Mastoori


Painting and Interview with Shahriar Cyrus by Mehrsa Mastoori
Resilience by Lynn Miller

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Ruins of Mah-Ku, 1930s, © Bahá’í International Community

The Castle at Maku


After we crossed an alley, we arrived at the bottom of the mountain. We could see the water from the fountain flowing at the base of the mountain. We began to climb the rocks and passed by the remains of some old buildings that had once been part of the castle. The sun was burning down on the rocks, and we could feel its fire on the soles of our feet.

Before long, we reached some stairs, which made the climbing easier for us. Along the way, I saw many eagle feathers and learned that this species lived on the mountain. After twenty minutes or so, we arrived at a small fountain surrounded by leafy green trees. Here we filled our bottles with clear water.

At last, we arrived at a flat space where the castle had been built. I was surprised to discover that, in fact, there was no castle; only the walls of some parts of the castle remained. We could see melted candles on the rocks and on the remnants of the castle walls. Eagle feathers lay scattered everywhere, on the floor of the castle and on the rocks.

When I looked up, I could see the peak of the mountain. This peak looked different from other mountains I have seen: it was not sharp, but looked like an umbrella. I could see some red and yellow signs under this umbrella, which showed that mountaineers had been there.

When I turned around and looked down from that height, I could see the whole city before me. The peak of the mountain cast a large shadow, and I could feel the touch of a gentle breeze on my face. The place was so peaceful, I felt I could stay there forever. As we sat on the rocks, we prayed silently, and I thought about the beloved Báb and tried to imagine the hardships He endured in this remote place.